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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pretty much like my E88, but the 4 pot engine is wat I don’t like. A 125i is hard to find, or are overpriced, so I am looking for an E93 325i or 330i. This model has the N52 engine so on paper a good choice.
It is not as nimble as the one series, but still a decent driver and much better handling than most other cars in this range. A little bit more comfort is also welcome while the age is increasing, lol.
I also like the metal folding roof, as it is more quiet on the motorway compared to the fabric roof of my E88.
The cons are: most offered models are automatic, I prefer a manual. And, road tax will be higher because of the higher weight.
I did a testdrive once with a Z4 E89, fantastic car, but too small for me. All 2 seaters I tried are too small. I also did a testdrive with a volvo C70 (with metal folding roof), this is just a family cruiser which happened to be a convertible.
So my options are more or less limited to the E93, any sensible advise on this?
 

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Watch out for the N53 engine, it came to the E9x with the 2007 LCI in most of Europe. All the fuel system issues of the N54 with none of the boost to make it worthwhile. Doesn't sound as nice either thanks to the direct injection.

Have you considered the E64 630ci? N52, high standard spec, bigger than the E93 but lighter because of the fabric roof. Looks a bit goofy, but I quite like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
By “watch out for the N53” you mean “avoid it”? Or keep your eyes open for a decent one?
The 630i was also on my list, but looks indeed aged, and I don’t know how good the sound insulation of the roof is, never driven one. I do know that the 645 is on the Avoid! list.
 

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By “watch out for the N53” you mean “avoid it”? Or keep your eyes open for a decent one?
Avoid it. Common issues to keep an eye on with the N53:
  • HPFP: £300
  • Injectors: £1,800
  • Coil packs: £250
  • NOx sensor: £300
  • Carbon buildup: £300 for walnut blasting to clean it out
All of that apart from the walnut blast is excluding labour.

Plus BMW didn't bother fixing a single one of the N52s weaknesses, so everything that can go wrong with the N52 can go wrong with the N53 as well.

In exchange you get something like 10bph and 5mpg over the N52, and it sounds like a tractor.

Bum deal :)
 

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I’d wait for a nice enough 125i! MissNismo now has a manual 2010 E88 125i SE instead of the R59 Mini and it’s a lovely car. I had forgotten how crisp the N52 is (though it wants for that remap). Pickings are slim though I’d agree. We weren’t too picky regarding spec’ and I will make it much better in the future.

As Nyxeris says, the N53 are the go to engine in the bigger cars for ‘efficiency’ benefits. Not worth going for if you can get an N52 instead in my opinion. Port injection on the N52 makes everything simpler, so it’s just the usual (classic) BMW fluid leaks you have to deal with along with the other couple of N52 niggles. Ours has been fine now for 4,000 miles. The 3-Series roof I imagine will be a lot more expensive to fix if stuff goes wrong I imagine.

Edit: Grammar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The E88 125i is indeed a very nice car! But still a car with a fabric roof, with more noise. All roofs have a design flaw, after some time a hole appears on both side just behind the rear window. When the roof is being opened, the material gets stuck between the mechanism and over time makes a hole. So when you buy an older one, keep in mind that a €1500 cost for replacement is coming. I went to a convertible specialist and they glued a patch on the inside, so it will take longer to have a hole there, but it is already an ugly spot.
 
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